Sunday, July 29, 2007


The best thing about my new work place is the cycle ride to and from it. It takes me five miles through some pleasant parts of Peterborough and soothes the mind, as well as helping get me fit, tone my muscles and lose weight. Most days, I listen to my iPod as I cylce and it is vital that I choose the correct music for the journey as it moulds my mood for the ride as well as the day, but particularly the ride. Sometimes, I just listen to one track on repeat...

The message-filled music came loud and clear as I emerged the other day. Hundred-mile-an-hour winds were ice-blasting the side of my face and body with hailstones and sleet. I invoked the name of our Holy Mother during my descent through the storm to the side of the rowing lake.

A hairy-faced, gum-chewing old lady walking her hounds there was not pleased to see me, seeming to deliberately step in my path, forcing me up a little muddy slope to avoid her and her pack. She even had the cheek to try and whack me as I passed with a leather lead - to teach me a lesson for daring to cycle on the same path as her.

In accordance to this Biblical season, the rain came down harder, soaking deep into my bones. I continued riding - a frozen wet corpse. At Ferry Meadows, the puddles were lakes and it became harder to control the bike. I skidded, fell, and gashed my knees. The blood spilt out and joined my sandwiches, scattered in pieces in the mud. I was not pleased.

Final humiliation came as I passed through Lynch Wood. Unseen to my shaded eyes, a branch of a wild rose was hanging over the path. Thorns inevitably tore into my scalp, drawing further crimson.

But, it's all right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the story of hairy faced lady reminded me of an unfortunate experience of a friend of mine also cycling along in Peterborough near Ferry Meadows. A dog walking old bloke took exception to the fact that my friend was cycling along with no hands on the handlebars. The old curmudgeon picked up a stick and jammed it into the bike wheel spokes, causing my mate to crash rather messily. In a state of shock my friend heard the man say "see what happens, smartass, when you can't steer properly". Maybe the dog woman took exception to your I-pod.

Dave Chambers, Peterborough